Daily Notes: A WBC Status Update of Reasonable Quality

Table of Contents
Today’s edition of the Daily Notes has no table of contents, it appears.

A WBC Status Update of Reasonable Quality
Following weekend play, the first round of this year’s World Baseball Classic is complete, having produced eight qualifiers, as follow: Cuba, Japan, the Netherlands, and Taipei (from Pools A and B), and the Dominican Republic, Italy, Puerto Rico, and the United States (from Pools C and D).

Second-round play has progressed considerably among the first four teams (called Pool 1), and begins for the second four (called Pool 2) on Tuesday afternoon.

What follows is a record of the Classic thus far.

In the first round, each team plays the other three teams in its pool once. The two teams with the highest winning percentages — or, in case of a three-way tie, the two teams that qualify via this set of tie-breaking rules — advance to Round Two.

The eight qualifiers from the first round progress to Round Two. Pool 1 features the four qualifiers from first-round Pools A and B; Pool 2, from Pools B and C. Both Pool 1 and 2 are played as a four-team double-elimination tournament. The top two teams in each qualify for the four-team final round.

Here is the bracket for Pool 1 of second-round play — from which Japan and the Netherlands have qualified for the four-team final — copy-and-pasted from Wikipedia, but then cropped and colored differently to suggest nothing of the sort. (Click on the bracket to embiggen.)

Pool 1

And here is the bracket for Pool 2, scheduled to begin on Tuesday (click to embiggen):

Pool 2

Here is a slightly absurd, but not entirely usesless, leaderboard of the top-10 hitting performances of the World Baseball Classic so far. SCOUT+ an offensive measure calculated with regressed home-run, walk, and strikeout rates, where 100 is average and above 100 is above average.

Player Team Pos PA xHR% xBB% xK% SCOUT+
Alfredo Despaigne CUB OF 18 2.7% 9.5% 16.6% 114
Adrian Gonzalez MEX 1B 13 2.0% 11.7% 17.2% 112
Hanley Ramirez DOM SS 13 2.0% 10.7% 16.6% 110
Frederich Cepeda CUB OF 21 2.0% 10.9% 16.9% 109
David Wright USA 3B 14 2.0% 10.2% 16.5% 109
Carlos Santana DOM C 13 2.0% 11.2% 18.6% 108
Yoshio Itoi JPN OF 21 2.0% 9.9% 16.3% 108
Takashi Toritani JPN IF 14 2.0% 10.7% 17.8% 108
Curt Smith NED 1B 19 2.0% 10.5% 17.9% 107
Yongkyu Lee KOR OF 12 1.7% 10.8% 16.7% 106

And here are the top-10 pitching performances thus far — in this case by SCOUT-, a metric calculated with regressed strikeout and walk rates where 100 is average and below 100 is above average.

Player Team G GS IP TBF xK% xBB% SCOUT-
Kenta Maeda JPN 2 2 10.0 33 23.6% 8.6% 83
Masahiro Tanaka JPN 3 1 6.0 28 20.8% 8.5% 90
Tadashi Settsu JPN 2 0 5.1 20 20.4% 8.6% 91
Seunghwan Oh KOR 3 0 2.2 8 20.5% 8.8% 92
Oscar Nakaoshi BRA 2 1 5.1 22 20.2% 8.6% 92
Danny Betancourt CUB 2 2 10.2 39 20.2% 8.9% 92
Pedro Strop DOM 2 0 2.2 8 19.1% 8.8% 95
Samuel Deduno DOM 1 1 4.0 16 18.9% 8.7% 95
Tiago Da Silva ITA 1 0 3.1 15 19.0% 8.9% 96
Raciel Iglesias CUB 4 0 4.2 19 19.2% 9.2% 96

Notable Performance: Japan’s Kenta Maeda
Japanese right-hander Kenta Maeda has made two starts for Japan during the Classic, pitched 10.0 innings, faced ca. 33 batters, and struck out 15 (or, 45.5%) of them. Maeda, who turns 25 in April, has pitched for Hiroshima over his five-year NPB career, having posted strikeout and walk rates of 19.5% and 5.2%, respectively, while recording a 2.47 ERA in 940.2 innings.

Below is footage of (at least a portion of) his repertoire, from his recent start against the Netherlands, during which he struck out 9 of 16 batters faced.

First, a fastball at 93 mph to Dutch outfielder Kalian Sams:

Maeda Hard FA SS

Next, a slider to catcher Dashenko Ricardo:

Maeda SL SS

And, finally, a slow-ish curveball to third baseman (and top Boston prospect) Xander Bogaerts:

Maeda CU SS

The Classic is available on the MLB Network — and streaming online for customers of Bright House, DIRECTV, and Time Warner Cable. Spanish coverage (relevant to many of the games in Pools C and D) is available on ESPN Deportes.

Furthermore, MLBAM has released a dedicated app for the WBC, as well, which includes Gameday coverage and video highlights.

Here are the games scheduled between now and Tuesday morning (all times ET):

06:00 AM Netherlands vs. Japan (2nd Rd, Pool 1)

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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.

36 Responses to “Daily Notes: A WBC Status Update of Reasonable Quality”

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  1. KJ says:

    you could say Maeda is GIF-ted.

    +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. I like “usesless”, did you write that deliberatesly?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. I’m filibustering this Daily Notes until Dear Author: (i) compiles a leaderboard of the top-10 hitting performances of the 2009 World Baseball Classic, (ii) uncovers a correlation between WBC performance and MLB performance, (iii) infers a causality, and (iv) calls it Science.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. I can’t put it down.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. How about soem Lenny Dykstra quotes?

    “Hey, I don’t hear, ‘Good job. What a good decision, Lenny.'”

    “Have I got a 12-inch c—, or what? Of course, it is all in place. It might not look like it, but everything I do is part of a plan.”

    “It’s about living the dream, bro”

    “I’m gonna get them with my cashmere, bro. Gotta go try and make some money.”

    “The bottom line is there is a reason for everything, dude.”

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. The most brilliantly bad author of all time? Amanda McKittrick Ros (1860–1939).

    Life is too often stripped of its pleasantness by the steps of false assumption, marring the true path of life-long happiness, which should be pebbled with principle, piety, purity, and peace.

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    • Well-Beered Englishman says:

      I’m not entirely sure what is happening to you, re: sanity, but I disagree. The most brilliantly bad author, in my experience, is Harry Stephen Keeler (1890-1967). Though his badness is far less celebrated than Ms. Ros’, it has a certain spunk, that is to say, vivacity, which makes his utter lack of skill all the more endearing.

      The beginning of a Keeler thriller:
      “For it must be remembered that at the time I knew quite nothing, naturally, concerning Milo Payne, the mysterious Cockney-talking Englishman with the checkered long-beaked Sherlockholmsian cap; nor of the latter’s “Barr-Bag” which was as like my own bag as one Milwaukee wienerwurst is like another; nor of Legga, the Human Spider, with her four legs and her six arms; nor of Ichabod Chang, ex-convict, and son of Dong Chang; nor of the elusive poetess, Abigail Sprigge; nor of the Great Simon, with his 2163 pearl buttons; nor of–in short, I then knew quite nothing about anything or anybody involved in the affair of which I had now become a part, unless perchance it were my Nemesis, Sophie Kratzenschneiderwümpel–or Suing Sophie!”

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • I yield the floor to the Gentleman from Houston for this correction, and acknowledge the asserted horribleness of said prose.

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        • Well-Beered Englishman says:

          I take this opportunity to post several more quotations from Harry Stephen Keeler’s novel Behind That Mask, which I had the pleasure of reading at the British Museum whilst researching my master’s thesis.

          “I hope I’m not interrupting you, Professor,” I began. “Not at all,” he said. “I hadn’t started in yet with my late afternoon work period. A friend of mine – a professor Alcibiades Brown – was just here, and we had a spirited session in rhythm and music, he on his tuba, and I on my snare drum.”

          “Did the statuesque Diana evince great joy at your having located a cache of the old Marinello face cream?” I asked her.

          “O’Rourke paused belligerently.”

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Well-Beered Englishman says:

          From The Fiddling Cracksman, Chapter 5, “Destiny in the Person of One Hoggenheimer!”

          “It’s getting now that a pedestrian’s not safe anywhere–except in a second storey window.”
          “How,” inquired Mr. Winship, analytically, “would a pedestrian ever be walking in a second storey window?”
          “Oh, Joe–don’t be so technical!”

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        • Jay29 says:

          More usually-innocuous things should be done belligerently.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. Are Chris Davis and Adam Dunn the last of the great TTOs? Will we never again see the likes of Steve Balboni, Rob Deer, Dave Kingman?

    Science has a theory:

    If there ever were significant numbers of Homo sapiens individuals with cognitive limitations on their capacity for behavioral variability, natural selection by intraspecific competition and predation would have quickly and ruthlessly winnowed them out. In the unforgiving Pleistocene environments in which our species evolved, reproductive isolation was the penalty for stupidity, and lions and wolves were its cure. In other words: No villages, no village idiots.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Jay29 says:

      I don’t think you can lump Davis in as a TTO like Dunn. He doesn’t walk enough, so he really can’t expect to get much higher than the ~42% TTO he had last year. He’s behind guys like Peña, Reynolds, Granderson, even Pedro Alvarez, Uggla, Kubel, etc…

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. At first, Brian Wilson hated his beard. Then it grew on him.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. The greatest ever introduction of an athlete does not, sadly, refer to a baseball player:

    Too many of us are broken men
    And we kneel at the side of the road
    to be covered in the dust
    from the hooves of our enemy’s horses
    And we chew on gravel
    and we smile the smile of broken teeth and supplication
    But one man will not yield!
    One man will stand always
    and he will cast you in his shadow
    Because the rock on which he stands is not a rock!
    It is courage–
    It is hope–
    Enough to sustain a nation
    He will howl at the moon
    and he will call his name into the new day
    to put his claim
    Ladies and Gentlemen,
    The number one ranked eater in the world
    The asparagus,
    and wonton,
    and corned beef eating Champion of the world
    He has God’s user name and password
    and he does with it what he chooses

    The Nation’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Champion,
    Joey Chestnut!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. Bryce Harper is famously coulrophobic, but did you know that Anna Benson is coulrophilial?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • doggie427 says:

      Looking up ‘coulrophilial’ with BING shows ONE use of the word : your entry of March 11th at 2:46. Amazing

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. Answer: Brett Cecil

    Question: Who will be the first U.S. player fined $10,000 for failing to file an <a href="http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Report-of-Foreign-Bank-and-Financial-Accounts-(FBAR)"Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR)?

    (I’m just guessing)

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. I asked Delmon Young how Moses made his tea. Delmon said, “Hebrews it”.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. My son fouled off a pitch at little league Saturday. I wondered why the ball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  14. Mike Morse told me that when chemists die, they barium.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  15. cody k says:

    I wonder whether Seunghwan Oh is related to Sadaharu Oh

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  16. Franklin Gutierrez was screwing around in the outfield, trying to catch some Fog. He mist.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  17. Bory says:

    What is going on?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  18. Tony LaRussa is now addicted to brake fluid. He says he can stop anytime.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  19. Greg Tellis says:

    Manager Victor Mesa was the primary reason Cuba failed to advance…he belittled everybody, from the umpires to the opposing teams to his own players…should have been tossed when he placed the ball under his armpit, then rolled it to the umpire…worst of all was the lack of faith he had in his team, demonstrating their mistakes from the dugout and goading them constantly…noone can play under that pressure…he jerked his position players and his pitchers in and out of the lineup seemingly without plan…the games were all about HIM…he made the world root against his team.


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    • DodgersKingsoftheGalaxy says:

      Everyone can act like a clown and not punished……this is what baseball is showing to the world yeeeesh, that and bunts a whole lotta bunts.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  20. commenter #1 says:

    did i end up on notgraphs by mistake?

    Vote -1 Vote +1